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Auschwitz 1
The first transport of Polish political prisoner deportees arrived in Auschwitz, June 14, 1940. This is the date considered as the date when it began to function. The name of the city of Oswiecim was also changed to Auschwitz.
The camp was expanded over the next 5 years and consisted of three main parts: Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz. It also had over 40 sub-camps.
The Poles were the first to be imprisoned and all died in the camp. Next came the Soviet prisoners of war followed by Gypsies, and prisoners of other nationalities were also incarcerated there. By 1942, the camp had become the site of the greatest mass murder in the history of humanity, which was committed against the European Jews as part of Hitler's plan for the complete destruction of that race.
The majority of the Jews deported to Auschwitz were sent to their deaths in the Auschwitz II Birkenau gas chambers immediately after arrival.
The Camp Commandant Rudolf Höss, testified at the Nuremberg Trials that up to 2.5 million people had died at Auschwitz, about 90 percent of them Jews from almost every country in Europe. Most of them were killed in gas chambers using Zyklon-B;  while other deaths were caused by starvation, forced labour, and disease. Not to mention individual executions, and the so-called medical experiments carried out by the Angel of Death Dr Josef Mengele.
The infamous gate of Auschwitz "Work Makes You Free"
The camp's prisoners who left the camp during the day for construction or farm labour were made to march through the gate to the sounds of an orchestra.


Auschwitz I was built on the basis of an old Polish brick army barracks originally built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
It served as the administrative centre for the whole complex.
 Block 13 of Auschwitz was the "prison within the prison", This is where prisoners were put into "standing-cells". These were cells about 1.5 metres square, four men would be placed in them at a time. The space as so small all they could do was stand. The following day they were forced to work with the other prisoners, then back in the standing cell at night . The basement located the "starvation cells"; prisoners locked up here were given no food or water until they were dead. Also in the basement were the "dark cells"; these cells had only a very tiny window, and a solid door. Prisoners placed in these cells would gradually suffocate as they used up all of the oxygen in the air; sometimes the SS would light a candle in the cell to use up the oxygen more quickly.
Many were subjected to hanging with their hands behind their backs, thus dislocating their shoulder joints for hours, even days.
Some suffered a more lingering death by being suspended from hooks set in two wooden posts.
The execution yard is between blocks 10 and 11. In this area, prisoners who were thought to merit individual execution received it. Some were shot, against a reinforced wall which still exists

n September 1941, the SS conducted poison gas tests in block 11, killing 850 Poles and Soviets using cyanide. The first experiment took place on 3 September 1941, and killed 600 Soviet POWs. The substance producing the highly lethal cyanide gas was sold under the trade name Zyklon B, originally for use as a pesticide used to kill lice. The tests were deemed successful, and a gas chamber and crematorium were constructed by converting a bunker. This gas chamber operated from 1941 to 1942, during which time some 60,000 people were killed therein; it was then converted into an air-raid shelter for the use of the SS.


The first women arrived in the camp on March 26, 1942. From April 1943 to May 1944, the gynecologist ProF. Dr. Carl Clauberg conducted sterilization experiments on Jewish women in block 10 of Auschwitz I, with the aim of developing a simple injection method to be used on the Slavic people. These experiments consisted largely of determining the effects of the injection of caustic chemicals into the uterus. This was extremely painful and many died during and shortly after. Dr. Josef Mengele, who is well known for his experiments on twins and dwarfs in the same complex, was the camp "doctor". He regularly performed gruesome experiments such as castration without anaesthetics. Prisoners in the camp hospital who were not quick to recover were regularly killed by a lethal injection of phenol.

Some finds from Auschwitz Camp


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